Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

Prime Minister’s Statement to the Media during the State Visit of the President of Republic of Korea

January 16, 2014

Your Excellency President Park,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Media,

I am delighted to welcome President Park on her State Visit to India. We have just concluded wide-ranging discussion on matters of bilateral interest and regional and global importance. This has enabled us to impart further substance, greater content and new momentum to the Strategic Partnership between our two countries.

President Park and I agreed that sustaining trade growth and expanding economic exchanges are vital for a stronger India-Korea relationship. Korean businesses were in the vanguard of the discovery of India unleashed by our structural reforms in the early 1990s. Today, as a result of further reforms, India offers greater avenues and opportunities for them.

Our negotiations for revision of the existing Double Taxation Avoidance Convention have concluded. We have been exploring the possibility of establishing a Korean Industrial Park in India. President Park and I also agreed to set up a CEOs Forum comprising captains of industry and commerce from both countries to provide us with new ideas for deepening our economic collaboration.

I am happy that the large-scale POSCO steel project in Odisha is set to be operational in the coming weeks, following the revalidation of its environmental clearance. Grant of mining concession for the project is also at an advanced stage of processing. I conveyed to President Park our hope that this project will confirm that economic growth and environmental protection can go hand in hand.

Political and security cooperation between our countries is expanding steadily. President Park and I decided to establish an annual interaction between the national security structures of our countries. We also agreed to launch a Cyber Affairs Dialogue between our Governments.

India and the Republic of Korea recently held the first round of structured consultation between senior defence officials. President Park and I recognized the possibility of defence trade and joint production by further promoting collaboration between our defence research organizations. The Agreement on Protection of Classified Military Information signed today will also boost our defence engagement.

In the area of Science and Technology, our collaboration has been highly rewarding, with many practical projects being financed through the 10 million US dollar Joint Fund that we established in 2010. The Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Applied Research signed today will enable our scientists to work together and develop technologies for our common benefit. We are also stepping up collaboration in the peaceful uses of space science and technology.

Distance has been no barrier to communication between the people of India and Korea since ancient times, and we are determined to bring them ever closer in the years that lie ahead. The Cultural Centres set up in Seoul and New Delhi have energized people-to-people engagement. Korean tourists are visiting India in increasing numbers. I conveyed to President Park the decision of the Government of India to extend a ‘tourist visa on arrival facility’ to nationals of the Republic of Korea. We are also exploring the possibility of better civil aviation links.

President Park and I also had an opportunity to touch upon regional issues, particularly developments in the Korean peninsula and our cooperation in the East Asia Summit processes.

The visit of President Park has imparted fresh momentum to our partnership. I am confident that our talks today have laid out a road map for the expansion and enhancement of our Strategic Partnership in the coming years.

Thank you.

New Delhi,
January 16, 2014



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